[Smt-talk] theory of film music

Ildar Khannanov etudetableau at gmail.com
Fri Jul 4 21:27:28 PDT 2014

Dear Deborah and Bob,

if I may, I would like to add my two cents. The essential innovation of
cinema was montage (Eisenstein's and D. W. Griffith's invention). It looks
like montage has influenced musical composition later in the 20th century.
However, one can argue that the elements of montage were there in music of
Debussy and late-Liszt well-before the film montage was introduced. This is
one mysterious relationship in which instrumental music (and not stage
drama) gave impetus to film form.

Best wishes,

Ildar Khannanov
Peabody Conservatory
drkhannanov at gmail.com

2014-07-04 15:52 GMT-04:00 <kos at panix.com>:

> On Fri, 4 Jul 2014, Deborah Burton <burtond at bu.edu> wrote:
>  Just a quick observation that film music developed from opera (especially
>> Wagnerian and post-Wagnerian types) and that any in-depth analysis of it
>> should recognize this aspect.  (Vertigo is so Tristan-esque it is
>> practically plagiarism.)
> Hi Deborah,
> I beg to disagree.  Film music developed out of music that accompanied
> staged drama.  Film dramas were just an extension of that and thus used the
> same procedures.  I've just finished reading a new book which underscores
> this point: Michael V. Pisani's "Music for the Melodramatic Theatre in
> Nineteenth-Century London and New York."  I think anyone who has worked
> with the scores of silent film music will find it difficult not to see the
> intimate connection between silent film and drama.
> Of course any composer can be influenced by opera--or any other musical
> form. But I feel that whatever influences one recognizes in film music
> (shades of Tristan in Vertigo -- and even more so in Psycho), it is
> fundamentally based on an extension of staged drama, not opera.
> Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
> Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
> blog:  http://www.nypl.org/blog/author/44   Twitter: @kos2
>   Listowner: OPERA-L ; SMT-TALK ; SMT-ANNOUNCE ; SoundForge-users
> --- My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions ---
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